For Christian Prayer
"The single most important truth found within the pages
of the Bible is the fact that “Christ Jesus lives within you.”
This truth is not spelled out in any one line or paragraph in Bible scripture as much as it is the primary component of an established system of parts for saving lost people. The New Testament does not record the words of Jesus explaining the vicarious atoning properties of His own blood within believers. Nor will you find references to His perfect, sinless life qualifying His blood to be used within His followers for expiation, and propitiation—all terms we will learn about later in the book.
What we do find in scripture conforms itself to the rules of scripture. Such rules are numerous and they include some of these fundamentals:
- Scripture does not contradict itself.
- At least two references can be found in the text confirming statements, principles, and ideas with each other,
- context must always be used to interpret scripture,
- and often there are things to be understood out of scripture immediately, things veiled by the use of parables, poetry, symbolic form and apocalyptic literature,
- and there are things not to be understood until the time God has deemed for their unfolding.
The tabernacle and temple concept seems to be one of these shadowy applications of an instrument we have had in observation for hundreds of years while it’s true purposes lay hidden. What do we really know about such deep things of God and His creation? Answer: not half of what we will one day know! Consider this scripture, “...we see in a mirror, dimly... (1 Corinthians 13:12),” and “...we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be (1 John 3:2)." Therefore, with the help of these rules of scripture applied to the deep things of God, we can rely on the Bible to teach us the essential truths as well as the non-essentials. Christians believe that Christ Jesus the Lord is in them, an essential belief. Do Christians believe that it is Jesus Christ’s actual blood in some configuration that may include the cellular structures from His actual body, a nonessential belief, there abiding within us? Before we make these introductions that point us into the great and deep ocean of these spiritual possibilities discussed in depth later in the book, let us briefly state this truth of which we all should know— that God’s Spirit is within us.
The Christian who reads the Bible knows that the Bible teaches an indwelling Holy Spirit within Christians. This is an essential belief. While this may be true, there has not been much scientific, or Biblical teaching upon the working dynamics of this spiritual reality. On the other hand, If we believe that we are actual sacrificial temples employing blood sacrifice once resident in the body of Jesus, should this be classified as a non-essential belief? Further, our observation of tabernacle/temple sacrifice always included the element of shed blood, an essential component of the Judeo-Christian belief system. Lev. 17:11b “…for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul…” Gladly, the Holy Spirit understands God's design far better than do we, so it is toward Him we turn for help in sorting these things out.
The Bible teaches us that we are not saved by an idea, not saved by an event in history, though factual. To be clear, WE ARE SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, an essential belief. Read your Bible! This is what we understand from observing its truth, in the volumes of its pages proclaiming the power of blood supernaturally applied to the life of the believer. The spiritual temple of God, which we are, may require admittance into the essential systems of our faith. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Paul reminds us, in the above verse, that not only are we the temples of the "Holy Spirit of God," but that we are also the temples of “God.” This reference to "temple of God" may be telling Bible learners that Christ Jesus is within us and that Jesus is God. I believe that the apostle John and the apostle Paul observed much more than they were empowered to communicate in their writings to the church. I will go into much more detail about these two authors later in this book.
It seems that God’s plan, as the evidence shows, did not include speaking plainly of Christ and His throne room actually within a believers body. "Your throne shall be established forever," and "God will give Him the throne of His father David." (See 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Luke 1:31-33). Truly Jesus was fully man having DNA properties from the line of David, Mary’s ancestral forefather. Jesus Christ also was fully God, pre-existent and eternal, and all knowing (John 1:1-3, 18:4). So let us review what we shall find in the claims of the Bible concerning Jesus Christ the man, and Christ Jesus—the one spilled out in blood upon the ground in expiation and atonement for our sin. To be clear, "Jesus," and "Christ Jesus" are one and the same. How? I do not know!
Below, is a short list of truth we will be covering in depth and illustration later in the various chapters of this book, but for now observe:
- Paul understands Christ, or Christ Jesus mysteriously within you well enough not to suggest the phrase Jesus Christ (the man) lives in you. His word construction is very important (one might consider exploring, “en Christo,” a word study theme found in many Bible commentaries).
- There appears to be many layers of spiritual truth beneath the common understanding of the book of 1st. John. Remember that John was taken up and is an eyewitness from having been to the place called heaven.
- The abiding Christ is sealed, by the Holy Spirits power and authority, within a knowable place within the human body illustrated in types by the tabernacle and the temple.
- Christ abides where He is sealed and does not coalesce with human flesh or blood. By illustration, a foreign embassy exists in a state separate from its host nation.
- From out of the heart, Christ may literally speak life through us and into our world by the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus walked upon water in authority over His creation and the indwelling Christ sustains Himself independently in a place the Bible calls “the heart.”
- Jesus’ flesh did not see corruption (Psalm 16:19, Acts 2:31), “for the life of all flesh is its blood” (Leviticus 17:14b). Jesus' blood by definition is incorruptible.
The Tabernacle/Temple, a type for the human body, may be the strongest evidence that Christ Jesus, by atoning blood, may reside within Christians. This evidence speaks throughout the entire Old Testament context in fact, that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. The “Lamb of God,” an antitype, speaks of the Old Testament “type” of sacrifice upon the altar as an atonement for sin. What purpose does a temple serve without the sacrifice and the offering of blood? Christ Jesus was anticipated by God to be sealed into each Christian by the Holy Spirit. He is then most useful in various places within His temples “not made with hands,” that we as believers—these temples would be witnesses to the love of God to a dying world. Our bodies are the temples of God, as seen in the Old Testament type, therefore, we require atoning blood as a propitiation for our sin.
The circumstantial evidence of Christ within each of us will be found in more detail as you venture through the pages of this book. That is not a bad thing as much as it is a veiled thing as we said by the use of parables, poetry and apocalyptic literature. Historically, the tabernacle was the instrument God gave the Jews for access to Himself. It cleaned up the Jewish sinner allowing for communicating to them His love. God’s love also included a wonderful land of opportunity, a place called Israel for their settlement. Also, with the tabernacle’s many components, it did things for the Jew’s God required while He brought them to this Promised Land. As we examine together the major components of the tabernacle, we shall see what God was saying to the Jewish people of that day—the tabernacle’s interpretation. Because this tabernacle was to be taken to a Promised Land to become a temple, we shall examine what the temple means to us today—its application.
The tabernacle trained the ancient Jewish people to love God first. Then this instrument would gain them access to the Promised Land and there they would find peace with God and build Him a permanent place for worship. What does this book attempt to say about the modern temple, and what does it really do? The answer to this question is amazingly simple, for the temple does just about the same thing that the ancient priests did in ancient times in their temple with the exception of the following things.
1. Today’s priest operating within God's temple is actually you! Remember our scripture, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God.” Your soul or spirit in humanness abides in the temple of God. Therefore, the operation of this temple is performed by the everlasting soul—which soul is the animating you within your body (the temple).
2. The components found in the tabernacle are not physical objects, they are spiritual offices coordinated by your spirit and the Holy Spirit inside of your temple.
3. The Holy of Holies, a place within the temple, is actually a space above the Ark of the covenant. This knowable place has great spiritual significance which we will discuss later, though rather obvious within God’s plan.
4. Blood was and still is used for the remission of sin (cleansing offenses). The big difference is that God anticipated the death of His only Son, allowing for the spilling out of that precious blood—once and for all, for cleansing and private access to Himself.
5. Blood remains primary to temple operations, as water (brazen laver) and oil (menorah lamp) symbolize the work of the Holy Spirit. Loving God and loving your neighbor are made possible by blood but actuated in power by the Holy Spirit.
6. Animal sacrifice continued for fifteen hundred years and changed people very little, while Christ died once for all and mankind will never be the same.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you (John 16:7). In large measure, the reasons Christ could not send the Holy Spirit within believers, prior to the time He stated this verse, were two-fold. He had not presented Himself as payment for the sin of the world, and also, at that time, He had not shed His blood to apply to human tabernacles. Until His blood flowed out, His work was incomplete to save people and satisfy the just requirement for sin against God that gains us access to the power of God, by His Holy Spirit.
Finally, our priest within this temple, which gains us access to God, must have something to say to God. What is more welcome to God than His very own Son’s words spiritually spoken from out of our hearts? The Lord’s prayer—commonly referred to as the disciple’s prayer - is most dear to the Father. I know you will enjoy the truth from the Bible and the thoughts that await you in those subsequent chapters upon this prayer, so enough said upon that topic. I believe the ones who will look up unto God and hallow His name in persistent exercise will be the ones who will be trusted with His next set of battle plans. I am hopeful that includes you and your family and friends in the midst of revival. Take up the challenges within this book and lift up your face to God, He has been waiting for you in a way you have got to experience. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them (1 Samuel 2:7–8).